From Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt
A Rivers State High Court in Port Harcourt, has sentenced to death by hanging, Mr. Ifeanyi Maxwell Dike and Ugochukwu Nwamiro, over the gruesome murder of eight year-old Miss Victory Chikamso.
It would be recalled that on August 18, 2017, the victim, Miss Chikamso, was murdered and her body dismembered, including the left side of her breast and private part.
Mr. Dike who was first apprehended by local vigilante in Eliozu community in Obio-Akpor Local Government Area of the state on his way to dispose the victim’s decomposing corpse, was handed over to the Police in the area.
During investigation, the prime suspect (Ifeanyi Dike), confessed that Ugochukwu Nwamiro was his collaborator in the dastardly act.
Also, Sergeant Johnbosco Okoronze, the Investigating Police Officer (IPO) in-charge of case was dismissed from the Force and subsequently co-charged with the suspects forprofessional negligence leading to Dike’s escape from custody.
After about two years of trial, the court on Wednesday, sentenced Dike and Nwamiro to death by hanging, without any option of fine for the murder of the little girl,who was said to be Ifeanyi’s niece.
Trail Justice Adolphus Enebeli in his judgement, declared that Ifeanyi, who was a second year student of the Department of Physics,University of Port Harcourt,”should be hanged on his neck until dead”, while Ugochukwu should be”hanged on his leg until he is dead”.
Also, the court sentenced Sgt. OKoroze to one year imprisonment “for aiding and assisting in the escape of Ifeanyi from police custody”.
Justice Enebeli relied his judgement against the second defendant, Ugochukwu on the voluntary confessional statements made by Ifeanyi who in his four statements,maintained that he was asked remove the little girl’s sensitive human organs in order to secure financial independence.
The court held that the prosecution have proved the case beyond any reasonable doubt,adding that the counsel to the first defendant, Barr. Lezina Amegwa, in hisfirst written address did not deny the fact that his client did not commit the offense of murder, but said he did so based on insanity.
Meanwhile,speaking to journalists immediately after the judgement, the state Prosecution Counsel, Barr. Chidi Ekeh, described the judgment as landmark that brought about justice for the state, the family of late Victory Chikamso, and the soul of the departed.
On his part, counsel to Ugochukwu , Barr. John Ndah, expressed displeasure over the judgment adding, that he would appeal the judgement, while Barr. Chikwele Bekewe, counsel for the dismissed Sgt. OKoroze, said he would consult with his client on the next step to take.
on his part, Barr. Lezina Amegwa, counsel for Ifeanyi , said he may not appeal the matter because of the circumstances in the judgment.